While talking to my 8 year old niece the other day, I realized how time has changed so drastically. Just 10 years younger to me and yet that Tommy clad girl seemed a century ahead. With more shoes in her closet than I ever owned, she is aware about every brand she wears. And that too not vaguely but very precisely. For, when I complimented her shoes from Reebok, she was offended. “Reebok kids, masi” she exclaimed. “You won’t find stuff of my size at Reebok” And yes, I gaped the exact same way!
She can operate an Iphone and an Ipad and her high score in angry birds is far better than mine. She owns a hello kitty handbag while I got my first handbag about a year ago. She prefers Temple Run and subway surfers over my favorite games of childhood; snakes and ladders and carom board. (And can you believe she’s never heard of, yet alone played ‘Pittu Garam’) Pepsi is her favorite beverage while it was Rasna for me, when I was 8. Her time for the park is fixed while I still remember crying to leave the park at even 10 at night. She probably doesn’t know where her father works but she knows his phone’s password. And I think you’ve got an idea of the drastic changes I was talking about.
If I think about it, this should make me jealous. She and a lot more kids like her have an amazing childhood, far more convenient than mine. Yet, to me, my childhood seems so much better. Back then, I never knew what shoes I was putting on. What mattered was to put them quickly and get out to play. I never used phones at that age but I played video games and Super Mario is still cherished more than the Temple Run. We could roam about in streets and any neighbor could hand us a chocolate. My niece, however, is taught not to accept anything from strangers. *Sigh!*
Time changed and so did childhood. But change never meant getting better, right? Or maybe for these kids, it does. And probably, one day when my daughter hears my stories, she may go ‘How did you even survive, mom?’ But this is exactly what I say when my parents talk about their stories. But hey, they still treasure their puerility, love to talk about it and I’m pretty sure, so would I.
So yes, I may not have had wrist watches of every color back then, but I’m glad I had time. I may not have had so many shoes but I played a hell lot. I was not aware of Tommy and Nike, but I knew Tom and Jerry. And back then, this was simply enough to be awesome!